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Tepeu


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Audio CD, August 15, 1998
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Product Description

Tepeu is a CD collection of six new improvisations for solo piano by California composer Ernesto Diaz-Infante. Tepeu, the Mayan god of creation, proportion and order, was the inspiration for the work. The improvisations flow into one another, gently drawing the listener in with an organically evolving narrative.

From the Label

Improvised solo piano musings from gifted artist Ernesto Diaz-Infante allow the listener to share in the creative process. His two albums Itz'at and Tepeu both serve to demonstrate the improviser's creative process from start to finish. Diaz-Infante begins with vague thematic material and molds it, through his choices of harmony and melody, into an image "suitable for framing." The pianist earned his master's in composition from CalArts in Southern California, studying with free and creative instructors that included trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith.

The title track is 22 minutes of structured improvisation, in which Diaz-Infante combines several drifting ideas into a focused concrete image. Droning bass notes lie beneath a consonant harmony while the right hand searches out the desired path. The dissonant bottom, representing disorder, is supplanted by the increasingly lucid harmony and gentle melodic patterns. Jazz is existent - not through a swinging rhythm or quoted historical context, but simply through the creative process and its accompanying imagery.

Each of the other pieces were freely improvised. "Thesis" is five minutes of inspired drama, introduced through mesmerizing chords that lay a foundation for the majesty that follows. "Synthesis" and "Antithesis" are each over ten minutes long; the latter includes vibrant percussive rhythms. Opposite the dreamy musings of "Thesis," the piece drives in 4/4 with a variety that overlays several rhythmic patterns simultaneously. A rubato album without constant toe-tapping rhythms will sometimes turn a listener away; however, both Itz'at and Tepeu involve the creation of focused images that began in the composer's mind and resulted from his spontaneous performance.

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4:09
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4:56
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